I know I’m not the only one who feels robbed of time lately. Robbed of the last year where we sat out special events, family celebrations, traditional schooling, and more. Personally, I spent a lot of time at home, which means I had a lot more time than usual to really think and reflect on how I spend each day and how fast time flies—even when things seem slow.
When you have small children, it’s true what they say—the days are long, but the years are short. To be honest, I didn’t quite understand that logic when I had my first son. The newborn phase was hard for me and him. I was scared of doing things the “wrong” way, and he had a strong case of colic, which made his cry fests seem never-ending. Now a mom of two boys, I don’t even fully remember those long nights of pacing the hallway night after night with my firstborn. My second son slept (And still sleeps!) like a dream. But now, as memories of their newborn phases begin to fade away, I’m starting to feel a sense of sadness over that season of life we’ll never have back.
In a similar way, I’ve been feeling sad about the time that felt lost during the pandemic. I’ve been working on channeling that sadness—that energy—into lessons learned to make sure I take this experience of forced slowness and truly learn from it. What I’ve learned from that reflection is there’s no sense in being sad, or worried, about situations that are out of our control. And there’s no sense in looking back when the present is right in front of us—and the present can be so, so good!
The pandemic may have stolen time from me, but it gifted me perspective. Perspective that time is precious. Perspective that family always comes first. Perspective that health is everything. Perspective that life is short and babies don’t keep. And perspective that led me to make a promise to myself: no more time wasted.
Time is so precious, and wasting it with worry and “what-ifs” is exhausting and unproductive. As hard as it is to be positive all day, the least we can do for ourselves is to be present. Being present doesn’t just mean turning off your phone at the dinner table. Or, at least not to me. I want to be present when my boys ask me to sit on the floor and race cars with them. And I want to be present when they spill their one-millionth cup of chocolate milk on our kitchen rug—because even if I’m upset in the moment, I know I’ll miss this mess when they’re grown.
I’ve always known time was precious, but it took an entire pandemic to make me really see it, to really feel it. In the last year and a half, we lost time. Some of us lost loved ones. And those losses force us to face time—to face life—square in the face.
When I think about time now, I’m thinking about things differently. I’m not wasting any more time worrying about the past or the future. I’m not wasting any more time being scared. I’m taking my newfound perspective and living it: no more time wasted. Because even on the hardest of days at home (And the hard days with kids can feel really hard!), we’re all still together. And together is all we really need.